Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dried Flowers, 3400 Years Old

In 1908, an American archaeologist by the name of Theodore Davies made an interesting discovery while excavating in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

A dozen large storage jars were found, containing broken pottery, animal bones, bags of natron (used in mummification), bags of sawdust and pieces of linen with markings from years six and eight during the reign of a little-known Pharaoh, Tutankhamun.

Some of these pieces were given to the Egyptian collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and over time the curator realized that the animal remains probably represented a funeral meal and the linens and natron were embalming refuse from the mummification of Tutanhkamun.

The curator's analysis became an important clue to the discovery of Tut's nearby tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter.

I find the floral collars fascinating. The top collar is amazingly preserved and shows how the collars were made. Alternating rows of flower petals and blossoms, leave, berries, and blue fa├»ence (a type of glass) beads were sewn to a papyrus backing, and linen ties secured the collar around the neck.

Some of the flora in the top collar have been identified as persea leaves, blue cornflowers, blue lotus petals, and nightshade berries

The black and white photo above shows the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun with face mask and chosen floral collar in place.

The collar below uses olive leaves and cornflowers.

Some of the collars in the cache were bound with red cloth . The resulting combination of red, green, and blue would have been very colorful.

I have been fascinated with Tutankhamun since I was a child. He was my entry into a lifelong fascination with history and archaeology.

Tut was the subject of my very first post!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hope and Expectation. And Answered Prayer.

I had a very nice surprise this week.

In my email inbox was a message from a name I didn't recognize. This is what I read when I opened it:

Dear Renee:

So happy to hear from you! And I'm sorry it took so long to answer. Please do send the complete manuscript to my work email. Both I and my marketing director loved what we read on your site. Thanks!

This is the acquisitions editor at a major Christian publisher I was speaking about in my post on expectation and waiting. I had so completely given it up to the Lord that no bells rang when I saw her name in my inbox.

Isn't if funny sometimes how the Lord works? After we have struggled and wrestled and given up that thing we hold so close to our hearts, it's then that the Lord moves.

When I was a young Christian (many years ago, I might add), I read somewhere that:

the struggle is to stop struggling. 

So simple yet so profound. Stop struggling and rest in the knowledge that He is sovereignly in control of your life. After 35 years of following Jesus, I am still learning to do that.

Let me add a caveat here. A request for a full manuscript doesn't mean that she will buy my book. But it is a definite step toward that end. It's a very big deal for an unpublished writer.

Thank you, Lord. I bless You and praise You and I am so grateful that you hold my life in the palms of Your hand!